Minnesota vs. Maryland Pick
Both teams coming off a loss, who will rebound when Maryland hosts Minnesota on Saturday at noon ET?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Maryland is favored at home in this one, as the Terrapins are getting odds of -6.5 points against Minnesota. The over/under total for the game is listed at 50 points. These two have not met since Maryland joined the Big Ten.
Minnesota is coming off a 14-7 loss at home to Iowa to fall to 3-2 on the season and 0-2 in the Big Ten. The Gophers are now just 1-3-1 against the spread. The Gophers took a big blow last week as well when starting QB Mitch Leidner suffered a head injury that will keep him out of this week’s game. He has thrown for 1,006 yards and five touchdowns this year while rushing for 142 yards. Conor Rhoda will start in his place and he has thrown just one pass this season. The junior has just two attempts in three years of his college career. Minnesota will likely rely on the run game, which has 1,015 yards in five games. Rodney Smith leads the pack with 446 yards and five touchdowns. Minnesota will need its defense to be strong as well. This season, the Gophers are giving up 23.6 points and 366.8 yards per game.
Maryland is coming off a 38-14 loss at Penn State last week, its first loss of the season. The Terps are now 4-1 on the season and 1-1 in the Big Ten while going just 2-3 against the spread. Like the Gophers, Maryland has some injury issues at QB, as Perry Hills is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. However, Hills isn’t as big a piece to the Maryland offense as Leidner is to the Minnesota offense. The Terps have a strong running game that averages 274 yards per game. Lorenzo Harrison and Ty Johnson have combined for 706 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Defensively, Maryland is giving up just 19.2 points and 365 yards per game.
Leidner isn’t a great quarterback, but he still has been productive for the Gophers. Not having him in the lineup should really hurt the offense, as Rhoda has virtually no game experience in his career. He faces a respectable defense on the road for his first start. Maryland should be able to stack the box to stop the Gophers run game and force Rhoda to beat him, which I don’t think he can. Even if Hills is out for Maryland, the Terps’ offensive game plan shouldn’t change too much from what they already do.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 7 PICK: MARYLAND -6.5